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Everything you want to know about Emerald Ash Borer
Arbor Doctor has always went above and beyond when it comes to knowledge of the latest and greatest breaking news. Well Emerald Ash Borer may be old news and everyone is talking about emerald ash borer and what it can do to your trees. Tons of information is on the Internet regarding this insect. You can learn about just about everything to do with this insect. You can also learn how to treat against it. Here on this page I am going to fill you with information on emerald ash borer. I will give you every picture that I could find on this subject and break down what the pictures are trying to show you in easy to read terms.
Ok, so this really neat huge picture on the left hand side of this page is one of the best detection devises that I could find on the Internet. It is really self explanatory and gives you just about everything you could ever ask for in the field of finding emerald ash borer.
First, you will see the different shots of the emerald ash borer. One is on top, one on bottom, and of course these little pest can fly too so they have a pic of one with its wings out. It is hard to tell the size of these little guys so I gave you a nice picture here on the bottom to relate the bug to something you will probably have in your pocket or purse at all times.
Maybe the most confused thing that people fail to do is identify that they have an ash tree. I have a whole page that does this so I would suggest that you refer to it at the following link ASH TREE IDENTIFICATION. Otherwise you can follow on with the picture on the left. You will see a nice map of the Midwest region and the areas that are effected by emerald ash borer. Next your will see a group of ash leaves. And finally you will see the buds. I like the link on this page quite a bit better so check that out.
Next is the identification that your tree may have emerald ash borer. I would tell you to never just jump to conclusions because you see some of the signs thinking you have emerald ash borer. There are nearly ten different insects that feed on ash trees and money of them leave similar effects. But if you see any of the signs in the pictures on the left here you will want to have your tree inspected and most likely treated.
So as you will see on the left there are three pictures. The first one is of an ash tree that has shoots growing heavily out of the base of the tree and out of branches. Notice the leaves stop at certain points. Those are the points where you should be able to spot emerald ash borer damage like the next two pictures. The picture with the finger is showing off the shape of the holes they leave. This shape is unique to emerald ash borers. It is also the same shape as bronze birch borers but bronze birch borers only effect paper birch. If you find these D shaped holes and you have and ash tree you definitely have eab.
Next picture is of the larvae patterns in the living area of the tree. The larvae is the actual pest. It is what does damage to the tree itself not the pretty little green metallic bug. The adult emerald ash borer lay eggs that turn into these larvae. The larvae eats the living layer of the tree and the tree dies. Find the arrow in the picture below? It points to the phloem of the tree or the living area.
All of the bottom pictures are good indicators that you have insect damage in a tree in general. These would be good pictures to study and check out all of your trees for these kinds of symptoms. Not just emerald ash borer but any borer in any tree. The wood peckers feed off of bugs and they peck into trees trying to find food to eat. The larve are really good food sources for woodpeckers and they are not wasting their beaks on you tree. If they are at you home they are going to find food.
Vertical splits in your tree are also good indicators of insect damage. Usually you will be able to see the larve in these cases. This is a little more rare and is not always a sign of insect damage. Sometimes it is just a tree growing too fast.
There are a ton of different insects and many of them look exactly the same. This little diagram from the DNR out of Minnesota. Here you will find many different insects that look just like the emerald ash borer. But the only one that is an emerald ash borer is the one on the top left hand side. See right next to it the bronze birch borer. They look just like the emerald ash borer but just a different color.
Most people hear about insects and just think that every green bug is an emerald ash borer because they have heard about it so much and have seen so many reports. The bug on the bottom side of the emerald ash borer is a weevil and are often found in vegetation. I have had many customers think they have eab when all they have is this harmful insect.
Many of the other insects look like emerald ash borer. Some do not and are really common. Notice on this line up you will find the Japanese beetle. They do not effect ash trees but they do kill off linden trees. You can learn a lot more about this bug. If you have this insect check out the link JAPANESE BEETLES.
Notice some of the characteristics of the emerald ash borer. It has a straight line down its back as its wings do not tuck. It is not segmented like may other beetles and insects. It also has a very sleek body and is 1/2" long at adult size.
This picture on the left is a great tool when you are looking at the effects of emerald ash borer. The only thing they do not do a good job of is showing the same tree digress over time. It would take approximately three years to go from a 100% healthy tree to a 0% or completely dead tree.
The progression of this disease also depends on the rate of infection but it is said that three year lifespan is average. In the diagram they show how infected the tree is. As you will notice it is hard to tell your tree is infected until about the second year. By this time survival rates with chemicals drop from 95% to around 50%.
In the initial stages of this disease it will be more of a judgement by the customer if there tree has less leaves then it did in the spring. It is pretty easy to tell when a tree is too far gone. In my professional experience people are very good at noticing when there trees are either dead or nearly dead. It is generally too late at this time so it is hard to help a dead tree come back to life. It has been reported though in Michigan studies that trees that were in the 10% stage were brought back to life with many different treatments. Don't count on that though. We suggest that people be proactive and treat for Emerald Ash Borer before the disease comes to the area. Most chemicals will only be effective if used for three years before infestation.
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Minnesota has made the news for infestation happening in the summer of 2009. Quarantines were set up right away on the movement of firewood and restrictions have been put on cutting down these trees. So far the two counties in the metro areas that have been quarantined are hennepin county and ramsey county.
The 2009 discovery left some very shocking details that the Minnesota Department of Agriculture were not expecting. The emerald ash borer move on average 2 miles per year. In 2008 the emerald ash borer was first making its introduction to neighboring Wisconsin and it was thought that this harmful insect would not be in the Minnesota metro area for years to come.
During the findings in 2009 it was predicted that the borer had been infecting the trees for over three years and could be spread all over the place. The city started cutting down trees in the neighborhoods to help solve the problem. So how is this insect being moved so quickly. The department suggests that moving firewood is one of the biggest causes of movement of this bug.
Problem is that insects are dispersed everyday for a number of reasons. Dandelions were brought here to make salad and now you find them everywhere. This bug could have been brought in either on purpose or by mistake. It could be as simple as some bugs were stuck on the underside of a vehicle leaving the infected area. Unfortunate, we cannot stop what is going to happen. If you do not do anything to solve for the problem this insect will keep on killing trees. In Minnesota we have over 900 million as trees. It is important to know which trees get Emerald Ash Borer.
You will notice on the left here a nice big map of the Midwest region of the United States. Here are some very important details that you should know about emerald ash borer.
- Minnesota has the second most amount of trees that can be infected by the emerald ash borer only to Ohio
- Michigan was the first state infected
- Infestation first found in 2002
- Insects were brought over on crates from Japan
- Has killed approximately 50 million trees so far
- 7.5 billions ash trees are in the United States
- Minnesota is the newest state infected with emerald ash borer
As you will notice this problem has not effected Minnesota like it has many other states. The red dots in this map are areas that emerald ash borer has been detected. Notice that Minnesota only has one dot on the radar. This does not mean that our map has to look like Michigan or Ohio but infestation is in our future.
Image Provided By:
Smitley, David, Terrance Davis and Eric Rebek. 2008
Progression of ash canopy thinning and dieback outward from the initial infestation of emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) in Southeast Michigan.
J. Econ. Entomol. 101: 1643-1650